Archive for November, 2007

Godfrey Funeral Sermon Collection Now Online at WorldVitalRecords.com

Monday, November 12th, 2007

PROVO, UT, November 12, 2007— As a result of the partnership between World Vital Records, Inc. and Godfrey Memorial Library, more than 1,200 pre-1923 funeral sermons and memorials will be available at WorldVitalRecords.com.

“We’re so excited that through our partnership with World Vital Records, we can bring greater access to this valuable data that we have been accumulating for years,” said Richard Black, Director, Godfrey Memorial Library. “The funeral collection is just one data launch of many more to come.”

The Godfrey Funeral Sermon Collection is World Vital Records’ first collection from Godfrey Memorial Library. In addition to funeral sermons and memorials, the collection also contains funeral programs and funeral cards. Many of the memorials were written by family members or friends and published privately only for interested parties.

“Last year we visited the Godfrey Memorial Library to discuss a possible partnership. One of the first collections we were shown was these funeral sermons,” said Yvette Arts, Director, Content Acquisition, WorldVitalRecords.com. “We immediately realized the great value of this unique collection and are happy to offer access to these sermons as the first records we have digitized through our partnership with Godfrey.”

The memorials in this collection usually contain brief biographical information on the deceased, and often list witnesses, pall bearers, and ministers who participated in the funeral. There are also memorial books about senators and representatives of the house that were printed by the Government Printing Office.

Godfrey Memorial Library has been acquiring this large collection from donations, gifts, ebay, and other purchases for many years. For this digital collection, only books published before 1923 were selected, due to copyright laws. This collection will be free to access for 10 days (until November 22, 2007). The collection will be launched throughout the week.

“What wonderful efforts have been made to preserve these sermons and to put them online,” said Dr. Susan E. Black, LDS historian, writer, and professor. “This funeral collection makes it much easier to learn about our ancestors beyond statistics. From these sermons we can learn what our ancestors were like.

WorldVitalRecords.com Introduces Valuable Scanning Service

Monday, November 12th, 2007

WorldVitalRecords.com Introduces Valuable Scanning Service (Photos, Documents, Videos, and Slides)

PROVO, UT, November 12, 2007–-WorldVitalRecords.com announced today a new genealogical service to preserve photos, documents, videos, and slides.

“The idea behind our Preservation Package was to provide a much broader dimension into helping people preserve their family legacy. With thousands of printed photographs and old videos that can become damaged or deteriorate, it only made sense for us to offer a service that allowed people to convert their items to a digital format. It has never been easier nor more cost effective to do that than today,” said Scott Spencer, Call Center Manager, WorldVitalRecords.com. “Customers can experience the piece of mind knowing their precious memories are safe and secure. Best of all, they can share them with family and friends quickly and easily, anywhere, any time, online through FamilyLink.com.”

Many people have stacks of videotapes and old photos at home. Unfortunately, the quality will not last. For example, videotapes have an expected life of 7-15 years before the quality deteriorates, whereas DVD’s have an expected life of 100-500 years. Over time, photos and film can fade, discolor, deteriorate, dry out, or become brittle, regardless of how well they are stored.

In an effort to preserve these valuable tapes, photos, and documents, WorldVitalRecords.com now offers the following Preservation Package services:

Converting 8mm, 16mm, miniDVs, and VHS tapes to a DVD

Scanning photos and documents

Digitizing slides and negatives

Secure storage filing

WorldVitalRecords.com decided to offer this service after discovering that 91 percent of the WorldVitalRecords.com survey panel said they were concerned about preserving their family photos, videos, and/or documents in a digital format.

“I really see the need for digitizing documents, photographs, and other family history artifacts. These items that we have been collecting throughout our lives can be digitized so that they can be easily shared using the Internet, modern social networks, as well as emails,” said David Lifferth, President, WorldVitalRecords.com. “We should share these artifacts with friends and family who need them for their own family history research, as well as to preserve them for posterity.”

The stories on the importance of preserving photos and old documents are endless. For example, an employee at WorldVitalRecords.com mentioned that recently the water pipe broke in his basement. He had lots of photos nearby that were almost ruined. Other catastrophes such as the fires in San Diego and Hurricane Katrina have also caused many people to realize the importance of converting their heirlooms to a digital format for backup and preservation.

“A few years back we had some of our genealogy stuff in boxes in our garage. We had a flood, and it ruined everything in the boxes. I called my uncle the night before he died, and he gave me some information on my grandmother’s family, including information on our family line from Denmark. I wrote it down and had it with some other genealogy papers in my garage. All of that information was destroyed in the flood and no one has been able to track it back since. Everything that has to do with genealogy is in the house now,” said Alice Danby, Provo, UT.

One of the benefits of using WorldVitalRecords.com’s scanning services is that individuals have the option of having WorldVitalRecords.com upload all of their photos, and also store them for free on a secure server at FamilyLink.com, a social network for genealogists.

Half of WorldVitalRecords.com panel members said they were interested in a service that could upload their photos to a secure site to share with other family members of their choice.

Preservation packages are priced very competitively at WorldVitalRecords.com. Some packages are 50-70% off of the retail value.

Individuals can take advantage of this new offer by calling WorldVitalRecords.com at its toll-free number (1-888-377-0588).

xxx

Media Contact

Whitney Ransom
Corporate Communications Director
World Vital Records, Inc.

http://www.worldvitalrecords.com

whitney@worldvitalrecords.com

About World Vital Records, Inc.

Founded in 2006, by Paul Allen and several key members of the original Ancestry.com team, World Vital Records, Inc. provides affordable genealogy databases and family history tools used by more than 350,000 monthly visitors and nearly 20,000 subscribers. With thousands of databases including birth, death, military, census, and parish records, WorldVitalRecords.com makes it easy to extend your family tree. World Vital Records also runs FamilyLink.com, a social network for genealogists, and We’re Related, a popular Facebook application. Partners include Everton Publishers, Quintin Publications, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., SmallTownPapers®, Accessible Archives, Ancestral Quest, Find A Grave, and FamilySearchTM. Investors include vSpring Capital and several angel investors.

Godfrey Funeral Sermon Collection Now Online at WorldVitalRecords.comso

Monday, November 12th, 2007

Godfrey Funeral Sermon Collection Now Online at WorldVitalRecords.com

Collection containing more than 1,200 funeral sermons and memorials free to access until November 22, 2007.

PROVO, UT, November 12, 2007—As a result of the partnership between World Vital Records, Inc. and Godfrey Memorial Library, more than 1,200 pre-1923 funeral sermons and memorials are now available at WorldVitalRecords.com.

“We’re so excited that through our partnership with World Vital Records, we can bring greater access to this valuable data that we have been accumulating for years,” said Richard Black, Director, Godfrey Memorial Library. “The funeral collection is just one data launch of many more to come.”

The Godfrey Funeral Sermon Collection is World Vital Records’ first collection from Godfrey Memorial Library. In addition to funeral sermons and memorials, the collection also contains funeral programs and funeral cards. Many of the memorials were written by family members or friends and published privately only for interested parties.

“Last year we visited the Godfrey Memorial Library to discuss a possible partnership. One of the first collections we were shown was these funeral sermons,” said Yvette Arts, Director, Content Acquisition, WorldVitalRecords.com. “We immediately realized the great value of this unique collection and are happy to offer access to these sermons as the first records we have digitized through our partnership with Godfrey.”

The memorials in this collection usually contain brief biographical information on the deceased, and often list witnesses, pall bearers, and ministers who participated in the funeral. There are also memorial books about senators and representatives of the house that were printed by the Government Printing Office.

Godfrey Memorial Library has been acquiring this large collection from donations, gifts, ebay, and other purchases for many years. For this digital collection, only books published before 1923 were selected, due to copyright laws. This collection will be free to access for 10 days (until November 22, 2007).

“What wonderful efforts have been made to preserve these sermons and to put them online,” said Dr. Susan E. Black, LDS historian, writer, and professor. “This funeral collection makes it much easier to learn about our ancestors beyond statistics. From these sermons we can learn what our ancestors were like and what brought happiness to their lives.”

xxx

Media Contact

Whitney Ransom
Corporate Communications Director
World Vital Records, Inc.

http://www.worldvitalrecords.com

whitney@worldvitalrecords.com

About Godfrey Memorial Library

The Godfrey Memorial Library was founded by Fremont Rider and was incorporated on 26 Nov 1947 as a “free public library of books, pamphlets, periodicals and other materials in the fields of American biography and genealogy and in related fields; to carry on and promote investigation and research in these fields and to publish the results thereof…”

About World Vital Records, Inc.

Founded in 2006, by Paul Allen and several key members of the original Ancestry.com team, World Vital Records, Inc. provides affordable genealogy databases and family history tools used by more than 350,000 monthly visitors and nearly 20,000 subscribers. With thousands of databases including birth, death, military, census, and parish records, WorldVitalRecords.com makes it easy to extend your family tree. World Vital Records also runs FamilyLink.com, a social network for genealogists, and We’re Related, a popular Facebook application. Partners include Everton Publishers, Quintin Publications, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., SmallTownPapers®, Accessible Archives, Ancestral Quest, Find A Grave, and FamilySearch. Investors include vSpring Capital and several angel investors.

Gain peace of mind today. Scan your photos!

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

by Whitney Ransom, WorldVitalRecords.com

A few possessions that are very valuable to me are my journals and photo albums. I have kept a daily journal since I was eight years old (so I have more than 20 hard-cover journals and many journal entries that are in digital format). Plus, I seemed to have been born into a family where creating memories and taking photos was never in short supply, so I have thousands of pictures.

The stories on the importance of preserving photos and old documents are endless. For example, one of our employees mentioned that recently the water pipe broke in his basement. He had lots of photos nearby that were almost ruined.

Just a few weeks ago (October 19, 2007) there was a woman living in San Diego who was interested in preserving and digitizing her photos (lets call her Amber). Amber had told one of her friends (lets call her Sarah) that she was preserving these items. Sarah also took the opportunity to have her wedding negatives preserved at this time. Soon after that, all of the houses in Sarah’s neighborhood burned down because of the recent fires in San Diego. Members of the neighborhood had to evacuate, many leaving all of their valuable personal possessions behind. Fortunately, Sarah’s photos were physically safe, and also digitally safe. Her photos were scanned and stored in a safe place. Sarah said that having her wedding negatives in a safe place brought her peace of mind.

This experience is a happy one for Sarah, but it also serves as a gentle reminder to me to make sure that all my photos and journal entries are physically and digitally safe.

WorldVitalRecords.com now offers this important service of preserving photos, documents, videos, and slides. Preservation packages at WorldVitalRecords.com are currently being offered at 50-70% off of the retail value.

Recently, we sent out a survey to our WorldVitalRecords.com panel. We asked them a handful of questions about photo preservation. The first question was, “How concerned are you about preserving family photos, videos and documents in digital format?” Ninety-one percent of our panel said they were either concerned or very concerned.

• 67 percent of our panel said they had photos that were 80-100+ years old.
• 51 percent of our panel said they were interested or very interested in a service that converted 8mm and VHS tapes to a DVD. (WorldVitalRecords.com now offers this service! Call 1-888-377-0588!)
• 50 percent of our panel said they were interested or very interested in a service that could upload their photos to a secure site to share with other family members of their choice

I really love these surveys! At WorldVitalRecords.com we use a survey program called Qualtrics, and it has been an important instrument in helping us understand who our customers are, their needs, their interests, etc. These survey results show that many of our subscribers care about their photos and histories as much as I do. Gain peace of mind today. Scan your photos! Call WorldVitalRecords.com at 1-888-377-0588 for details.

Accessible Archives Makes Searching For Records Easier With New Site Design and Global Search Feature

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

by Whitney Ransom, WorldVitalRecords.com

Accessible Archives, one of WorldVitalRecords.com’s partners, recently launched a new site design and also implemented a new global search feature. I have been searching on the site today, and I think it is great: very clean, slick, and easy to use.

Once you are logged into the search, you can search the database in a variety of ways. For example, you can search using a word index such as Find words between____ and ___, or you can browse each article page by page. Plus, you can search by publication name, publication date, or by collection. Accessible Archives’ search features also keeps a history of your searches.

Another nice feature is that you can type in a word, such as “Smith” and view this keyword in context of the article, or you can view the entire article. It’s great!

Accessible Archives has a wide variety of archived historical information from the 18th and 19th centuries. All of the Accessible Archives’ collections are available at WorldVitalRecords.com including the American County Histories to 1900, The Liberator (1831-1865), The Civil War: A Newspaper Perspective, The Pennsylvania Genealogical Catalogue Chester County (1809-1870), The Pennsylvania Gazette (1728-1800), African-American Newspapers: The 19th Century, and Godey`s Lady`s Book (1830-1885).

Happy Searching!

165 New Massachusetts Databases Online at WorldVitalRecords.com

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

The Wonderbase of the Week at WorldVitalRecords.com is 165 new databases from Massachusetts. These databases will be free to access for ten days (until November 15, 2007). The databases come from the Quintin Publications Collection.

Here are a few examples of the databases in this Wonderbase of the Week launch. Click here to access all 165 databases.

* Origins in Williamstown: A History
* The Old Records of the Town of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, 1764 – 1789
* Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts: Containing Historical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens and Genealogical
* Records of Many of the Old Families, Volume 1 Vital Records of Weymouth, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850
* A Copy of the Records of Births, Marriages, and Deaths, and of Intentions of Marriage of the Town of Hanover, Massachusetts, 1717 – 1787
* Records of the Town of Braintree, 1640 – 1793
* Early Records of the Town of Beverly, Essex County, Massachusetts : Births, Marriages and Deaths

How To Innovate And Change The World

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

by Whitney Ransom, World Vital Records, Inc.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a presentation by Guy Kawasaki. His presentation was titled: How To Innovate And Change The World, and it was great. Kawasaki was full of energy, bright and intelligent ideas, and humor. During his presentation he gave ten key points, and one bonus point, of how to be innovative with your products.

I was invited to attend this presentation at the last minute and by the time I got to West Jordan (the location of the presentation), I missed the first two points, did anyone get them?

How To Innovate And Change The World

1.
2.
3. Jump Curve – Kawasaki said that great innovation occurs when you jump curve. If you want to innovate, it’s not about being better on this curve – it’s about advancing to the next curve. He gave the example of moving from the telegraph to the telephone.
4. Roll the DICEE – If you want to be innovative, your products need to be deep, intelligent, complete, elegant, and emotive.
a. Deep: Fanning Reef - This product is deep because one can wear their sandals and also hold 3 ounces of liquid in their shoes.
b. Intelligent: BF-104 Flashlight Panasonic – This product is intelligent because one can use three sizes of batteries.
c. Complete: LS (Lexus) – This product is complete because it offers total service, support, and infrastructure.
e. Elegant: Nano (Apple) – This product is just elegant and sleek.
f. Emotive: Harley Davidson – This product brings emotion, you either love it, or you don’t.
5. Don’t Worry, Be Crappy- Ship a product that is revolutionary, and then if it has some bad elements, it’s okay.
6. Polarize People – Create a product that people either love or hate. It’s much better than producing a product that no one cares about at all.
7. Let A Hundred Flowers Blossom – Sew a field of flowers, not just a window box.
Create a product where people who are not your customers use your product. Ask these people why they are buying your product, instead of asking your “customers” why they are not buying your product.
8. Churn, Baby, Churn – Kawasaki said that as you create an innovative product, people will tell you that it can’t be done. Ignore those people and expect that churn as part of the process.
9. Niche Thyself – Create a product that is high and to the right (unique piece of software that everyone loves and needs).
10. Follow The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoints – When your presenting your product, using a PowerPoint, use 10 slides, for 20 minutes, with 30 point font.
11. Don’t Let The Bozos Grind You Down – There will be others who will try to get you down when you tell them about your innovative ideas, don’t listen to them. Kawasaki said that he was invited to interview for the CEO position at YAHOO! His comment was, “It’s too far to drive (about 1 hour commute), and I don’t see how it can be a business.” This mistake cost him 2 billion dollars and he claims that this was one of his “bozo”city moments.

How Do These Items Correspond With World Vital Records, Inc., FamilyLink.com, and our new Facebook App (We’re Related)?
1.
2.
3. Jump Curve -We are jumping curve with some of our products. For example, on FamilyLink.com you can type in a surname and find the names of everyone else who is searching for that surname. You can also find the locations of all of the people who are listed on FamilyLink.com who are researching in the same places you are.
4. Roll the DICEE -
a. Deep: We build applications that are adaptive, generative and scalable.
b. Intelligent: We hire great people for our team We continue to strategically partner with top genealogical and family history data providers from all over the world.
c. Complete: We offer the complete collection (60+years) of Everton’s Genealogical Helper.
e. Elegant: Our user interface on each web site gets better and better every week.
f. Emotive: People love us!
5. Don’t Worry, Be Crappy – Our We’re Related app and FamilyLink.com service are pretty new. FamilyLink.com is in beta, but we released it to get feedback from our users to make it the best product we can, as quickly as possible.
6. Polarize People – Create a product that people either love or hate. It’s much better than producing a product that no one cares about at all.
7. Let A Hundred Flowers Blossom – We currently have more than 500,000 members on We’re Related. Some of these people are genealogists, others care about their family, and some just like adding new apps.
8. Churn, Baby, Churn – Of course we get churn. Some people have told us it can’t be done, and we’re going to do it anyway!
9. Niche Thyself - High and to the right…well, to start off with FamilyLink.com and We’re Related are absolutely free. We add value to our records at WorldVitalRecords.com with our geocoded features, as well as our international communities.
10. Follow The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoints – Our target audience for WorldVitalRecords is ages 50+ and beyond. Of course we are using at least 30 point font in our presentations.
11. Don’t Let The Bozos Grind You Down – Again, there are always people who are going to try to get you down. However, we have so many people who are cheering wildly for our company and products. A positive comment can go a long way. We do get tons of feedback from our customers and we listen to them as well.

Success Story: “Finding A Book That Actually Contained A Family I Have Been Trying To Verify”

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Right away, when I became a member of WorldVitalRecords, I found a record of one of my great-greats. I belong to one of those families where “all of the genealogy work is supposed to have been done.” So, I have been in the process of verifying the information I was given by my grandparents and aunts, in order to find the sources of the records. That has been the difficult part. I had no sources, just words like, “from the knowledge of Aunt Jenny”, but in so many cases, the documents just did not support that knowledge. Dates are different, places are different, and it has been so frustrating to try and figure out where people really lived and even, in some cases, there are even different names.

I was delighted to find, through WorldVitalRecords.com, a book that actually contained a family I have been trying to verify. Interestingly, I also found a record of a baby, infant, that had died-a baby not previously known or linked to this family. The book was written by the record keepers of Hubbardston, Massachusetts, so I believe the record to be accurate. It was amazing that I have been able to find them, when I have searched and searched so many other places, only to find that there were no real sources, just things being copied over and over without verification.

Thank you for your service.
- Marilyn Winspear, World Vital Records’ subscriber